So, after the little fire-triggered PTSD episode I was feeling so high on my ability to overcome the trauma responses in a way I never could before. I’m still proud of that but then some other stuff happened and now I’m feeling like Lady Fate is something of a hustler. She threw me an easy curve ball and got me feeling all confident and then WHAM! She comes at me with the real shit.
Of course, this is me we’re talking about so “real shit” is rather subjective and maybe not what healthy people would consider all that… WHAM!
Last Monday I took Kerewin to the vet. I know she’s getting old and it’s not like I haven’t considered the fact of her death before, it’s just never been concrete. But she’s having surgery on the 14th. They are cleaning her teeth, taking out a broken molar and removing a mass from her leg. This mass would give up any cells during a needle aspiration so we won’t know what it is until it’s removed. The thing that has me most freaked is the anesthesia because of her heart disease. They will take some extra precautions but, I don’t know, I know that she’s nearing the end of her life but I don’t want it to happen when I’m not there with her. She’s been the most constant friend I’ve had for the last 13 years. She was with me before Emily and I grew into our relationship, she was with me when Jt left for a year, she spent days on end lying in bed with me while I was sick with my first pregnancy. She’s adorable and she’s so well-behaved that people don’t believe it until they see it! My neighbors admitted they thought I was crazy when I told them they could just tell her to go to bed and she would get in her bed. Of course, they tried it and it worked. EAT THAT, NEIGHBORS! 😉
So, there’s that.
About two or three weeks ago I started having some breast pain. Last Tuesday I found a lump. I only have one relative who’s had breast cancer and there is a history of fibroids so those are good from a family history perspective. But my brother-in-law’s cousin passed away from breast cancer last fall. She was diagnosed at age 34, my age.
I saw the doctor last Friday and she thought it felt fibrous but I go in tomorrow for a mammogram and sonogram. I’m 80% certain that they’ll find fibroids but of course, I’m spending much more time thinking about the 20%.
I spent the last few days at my parents’ house, taking care of my sister, Erin, while the ‘rents took a mini-break. I got home yesterday evening and Jt left a few hours later for a work trip. He gets back Friday evening and we are having Kenai’s party here at the house on Saturday. Huge credit to Jt, he had the house absolutely spotless when he left and had a talk with the girls about being extra helpful because mommy’s not feeling well.
My therapist told me that I needed to ask for whatever help I need. It’s hard to do that when what I have isn’t a “real” ailment. It’s embarrassing to tell people that you aren’t handling things well and can they take a break from their own crazy-busy lives to help me with mine? I mean, who DOESN’T want to let their own shit pile up while they come do mine just so I can hide under the covers?! I did it though, I messaged four people who had come through for me in the past and let them know what was going on and how I was feeling. I *am* working on getting through this in a healthy way, in a way that won’t lead to the terrible spiral into depression. It’s hard though, it’s hard because I just want to go to bed and stay there. Like the guy in the “Man Cold” video, I need someone to stroke my head and say, “poor little bunny.” But that’s the problem, I feel like I have a man cold and I’m being a big, huge baby about everything and inconveniencing everyone around me in the meantime.
PLUS. Plus, it’s rubbing off on Elliet. She already struggles with anxiety but about two weeks ago she started having symptoms again. She’s chewing her fingers until they look like they went through a cheese grater. She’s having headaches and complaining about the nervous feeling that makes her have to take big breaths. I know those feelings so well. I’ve recommitted to spending time with her at night, she likes to talk when she lies down to sleep and so I’m doing that a few times a week and we started reading The Penderwicks last night. She saw a counselor a couple of years ago who taught her breathing exercises so I’m reminding her of those as well as teaching her some EMDR techniques that I find to be really helpful.
When I’m alone, even when I was just with Erin and my dogs, I feel okay. Or at least, I act okay. I feel a bit of peace I guess. But I can’t seem to keep my stress under control with the kids. I feel HORRIBLE about this. I ask them over and over and over to do something and get ignored. I’m used to this and giving firm consequences in a gentle way is old hat. But now I yell. A lot. And I need it to stop, I need to stop it.
Why can’t I shake this? Why can’t I just be a little nervous without flipping the fuck out??
I’ll get through this. We’ll get through this. In another week or so, things will be okay and I can discuss with my therapist methods for preventing major freakouts in the future.
Because really, everything is okay. Kerewin’s okay and will likely get through this surgery just fine and they have new ways of detecting heart failure sooner so that we can get her on meds as soon as it happens. And while I will experience the trauma of having an already aching boob squashed unreasonably flat, it will likely show that I have fibroids which are painful but basically harmless. And my husband has been freaking amazing. I adore my dogs. My super awesome neighbor friend, Kristi, went with me to my first breast exam and is going with me for the screenings tomorrow as well. And my sister brought me Chinese food while I was watching Erin. And a new friend from the kids’ school has been so great about helping with rides and such as needed. Even my dad, palming me a “tip” when I left yesterday. And my friend, Rick, who is so easy to talk to (over email anyway) and who gives me the gift of great new shows to watch! I was getting so worried about Kenai because she seemed to be having trouble making friends at school but it turns out every single invitee is coming to her birthday party and I feel SO relieved. Maybe a little freaked about having 15 guests in our teensy house but mostly relieved. And Moxie just loves Erin and the funny part is that Erin seems to really like Moxie. Erin flinches when *I* touch her face but Moxie jumps up and licks her and she smiles. Silly girl. I have a lot to be thankful for and I will never be able to express just how important every one of these people and others are to me. I have it good.